Opinion

Commentary: Media's failed hyperbole over the Bush years

Quick, who said this?

"Americans have watched in horror as President Bush has trampled on the Bill of Rights and the balance of power."

I’ll give you some hints:



A. Oliver Stone



B. MoveOn.org



C. An overexcited intern at the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee



D. The New York Times

The answer is "D." Yes, I'm sorry to say that overwrought purple prose was the lead sentence last week in the lead Sunday editorial of the paper I was so recently congratulating for having the good sense to back the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. (And they made so much sense that day.)

Editorial writers — particularly at one of the best papers in the country — are supposed to use words with care and discrimination. Some say I occasionally fail to do that. For instance, some say I was mean, nasty and ugly to Gov. Mark Sanford in my column last week. Go read the letter to the editor from the governor’s press aide that ran in Wednesday’s paper (as always, you will find links to that, and the NYT piece, and any other linkable item mentioned in this column, in the Web version on my blog — and the address for that is below). An excerpt:

This editorial page was once respected as a voice for good government. Now, thanks to Brad’s childish screeds, fewer and fewer people are reading.

And yet... I challenge you go find anything that I said in that column that comes anywhere near the unsupported, gross hyperbole of "watched in horror" or "trampled on the Bill of Rights."

To read the complete column, visit The State .

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